A genre of "Infancy gospels" (Greek: protoevangelion) arose in the 2nd century, and includes the Gospel of James, which introduces the concept of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (not to be confused with the absolutely different sayings Gospel of Thomas), both of which related many miraculous incidents from the life of Mary and the childhood of Jesus that are not included in the canonical gospels.Another genre is that of gospel harmonies, in which the four canonical gospels were selectively recast as a single narrative to present a consistent text. The Diatessaron was such a harmonization, compiled by Tatian around 175.This article is about books written about the life of Jesus.

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350, at Nag Hammadi in 1945–46, and three papyri, dated to c.

200, which contain fragments of a Greek text similar to but not identical with that in the Coptic language, have also been found.

Most modern critical scholars consider that the extant citations suggest at least two and probably three distinct works, at least one of which (possibly two) closely parallels the Gospel of Matthew.

It had been lost but was discovered, in a Coptic version dating from c.

In the immediate aftermath of Jesus' death his followers expected him to return at any moment, certainly within their own lifetimes, and in consequence there was little motivation to write anything down for future generations, but as eyewitnesses began to die, and as the missionary needs of the church grew, there was an increasing demand and need for written versions of the founder's life and teachings.

Evidence of this can be seen in the conflicts between them: to take a few examples, according to the synoptic gospels, Jesus' mission took one year, was spent primarily in Galilee, and climaxed with a single visit to Jerusalem at which he cleansed the Temple of the money-changers, while in John, Jerusalem was the focus of Jesus' mission, he visited it three times (making his mission last three years rather than one), and the cleansing of the Temple took place at the beginning rather than the end of the ministry.

Luke, while following Mark's plot more faithfully than does Matthew, has expanded on the source, corrected Mark's grammar and syntax, and eliminating some passages entirely, notably most of chapters 6 and 7, which he apparently felt reflected poorly on the disciples and painted Jesus too much like a magician.

The synoptic gospels represent Jesus as an exorcist and healer who preached in parables about the coming Kingdom of God.

Jesus preaches in Jerusalem, launching his ministry with the cleansing of the temple.